Berlin (dpa) – Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz has defended the resolution requested today on extended corona testing obligations for people entering Germany.
“It’s about protecting the health of the citizens of this country,” said the SPD candidate for the chancellor in the ARD “Tagesthemen”.
According to a draft regulation from the Federal Ministry of Health this summer, especially unvaccinated people will have to adapt to changes. It is expected that the broader testing obligations will be determined by the cabinet on Friday and will apply from Sunday (1 August).
Proof on entry
In principle, according to the draft, in the future all immigrants from the age of 12 should have a negative test certificate, proof of recovery or proof of full vaccination – regardless of where and how they come from. When entering an area with virus variants of concern, proof of testing should be required, proof of vaccination or recovery should not be sufficient. You must pay for any rapid or PCR tests abroad.
“We’re all used to being tested, we’ve been doing that for a very, very long time,” Scholz argued. Many would be tested on vacation anyway, for example because it is necessary for certain activities. “We need to prevent situations like last year from happening again in the fall — vaccination helps us here, but so does testing.”
In general, the evidence must be taken on entry and presented in the event of “arbitrary” checks by the authorities, as stated in the draft. There are no plans to check all people entering the country directly at the border. If you travel with a transport company such as an airline, proof must be presented on request before take-off – this was already the case for air passengers. In the case of cross-border train traffic, this must also be possible on the road.
Critical Opinions on Mandatory Testing
The chairman of the Federal Police District of the Police Union (GdP), Andreas Roßkopf, warned in the papers of the Funke media group about huge logistical efforts – especially in terms of personnel. “We have more than 3,800 kilometers of land border. If we have to check these randomly on a regular basis, it is difficult to master.” There are also many unanswered questions, for example about trains.
The chairman of the board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, told the editorial network in Germany: “In principle, welcome as a measure, but unfortunately extremely short-term in execution.” He also hopes for a side effect: “Perhaps this means that some of the people who have not yet been vaccinated can still be brought to the vaccination.”
However, the German export industry warned against a test obligation for truck drivers in intra-European goods traffic. “In principle, the efforts to contain the pandemic are understandable. National solo efforts are headed in the wrong direction, especially in freight transport, and would put additional pressure on already tense supply chains,” said the spokesman for the Federal Association of Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (PGI), André Schwarz, of the “Rheinische Post” (Friday). “The miles and day-long traffic jams we’ve already experienced are still vivid in our minds.”
Corona infections, which probably originated during travel, are playing an increasing role in the infection process in Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). This is what the RKI writes in its weekly status report that was submitted on Thursday evening. Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands were most often cited as the most likely to be infected countries in the four weeks considered from June 28 to July 25, followed by Croatia and Greece. However, the majority of corona broadcasts continue to take place within Germany – we are talking about at least 81 percent.